Seven Indian hostages aboard Italian tanker MT Enrico Ievoli which had been hijacked by Somali pirates last December will be reunited with their families soon as the vessel has been released.
The vessel was hijacked on December 27 off the coast of Oman, while transporting cargo of caustic soda. It had 18 crew members — six Italians, five Ukrainians, along with the seven Indians.
Shipping authorities in Mumbai informed on Tuesday that the pirates released the ship on Monday and it is proceeding towards a safe port where the crew will disembark and be repatriated to their respective countries.
“The safe port is in Africa and its name has not been disclosed for security reasons. The crew members are of different countries so they will be approached by their respective embassies, counseled, and repatriated back to their respective nations,” said a senior official from directorate of general of shipping, Mumbai, requesting anonymity.
The Italian government and Somali prime minister Usman Abduweli had held discussions concerning the vessel. Italy had requested the PM to do whatever was within his government’s powers to secure the vessel’s release.
The shipping authorities refused to divulge details of the Indian crew members. “It is our policy not to disclose the name of port or members for security reasons,” added the official.